Welcome to the Garlic Gallery for 2015

The 2015 garlic crop has emerged from dormancy at Asbury Village Farm! As seen on April 19.

Hello again, Garlic Lovers!

Big changes for our garlic culture this season. Here you can see Logan delivering cloves for his dad Kyle last October. All of our garlic was planted through black plastic mulch for the first time to provide weed and moisture management.

For those new to this page and the world of garlic culture, one clove planted will yield one bulb at harvest. Cloves are planted in the fall allowing them to develop roots before entering their period of dormancy, particularly important for hardnecks. We have introduced new hardneck and softneck varieties to our collection which you can read about below.

Italian Lorz

Big, knobby and rustic is a good description of these gorgeous bulbs that Farmer Steve ordered from Filaree Farm last year for planting.

The Lorz family brought this softneck garlic from Italy when they settled in the Columbia River Basin in the late 19th century. Like other southern European varietal strains, it was well-suited to the warm summers in Eastern Washington and is now grown in many parts of the United States.

You may also see this variety at Garlic Festivals labeled as Italian Red. The transport and trading of garlic over long distances dates to the Silk Road which led to spread of garlic propagation from its home in Persia into Central Europe and Asia.

Music

This may be the most widely grown garlic in the United States. A member of the Porcelain family of hardneck Ophioscorodon garlics, they are vigorous, consistent year to year, and have highly marketable paper white wrappers.

Originally cultivated and widely sold by Stan Music from Ontario, we see it at all the Garlic Fests. Like many growers, Stan had a day job (as a limo driver).

We have grown Porcelains for many years and some varieties have lost vigor over time, so we have introduced fresh stock from Peaceful Valley Farm.

Red Chesnok

This variety possesses the best characteristics of the Purple Stripe family of hardnecks; hardy with a robust flavor. This is not limited to heat, but delivers a complex nutty finish when eaten raw.

There is a grower in upstate New York who is so convinced of Red Chesnok's superiority, it's all he grows.

Our planting stock is also from Filaree Farm who has sourced it to Shvelisi, Republic of Georgia. These garlics like cold winters!

Killarney Red

Farmer Steve suggested we reintroduce the Killarney Red. This handsome Rocambole (hardneck) was part of our original Asbury Farm planting stock back in 2002. Rocamboles have been considered the chef's favorite due to their flavor and easy to peel cloves.

Rocamboles are easily identified by their distinctive scapes or flower stalks. No other garlic variety forms tight loops of 1 to 3 coils shortly after the stalks appear. We harvest the scapes from all of the hardnecks to direct the plant's energy into bulb development.

Your CSA share will include this tasty treat during June distributions.

Vietnamese Purple

I have admired the Vietnamese Purple that Piedmonte Farms from upstate New York has been bringing to the regional Garlic Fests for the past four years. This Purple Stripe has a pointy bulb shape and classic coloration. Our 2014 trial showed great promise so we planted a lot more!

I can't imagine these growing in Vietnam since hardneck (sativuum ophioscorodon) garlic benefits from a period of winter dormancy.

California Late White

This is a Silverskin. Silverskins are the family grown for grocery sales and processing. Their flavor can be mild but they have terrific shelf life. While hardnecks start to whither a few months after harvest, these bulbs can stay firm for 8-10 months.

Like all softnecks (sativuum sativuum) they do not have a hard stalk nor do they produce the characteristic stalk and umbel that we call scapes. They tend to fall over when they are ready to harvest which is much later than the hardnecks. This is great for time-pressed growers who like to stagger the garlic harvest as the height of the produce season approaches.

 

Nootka Rose
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, not too far from the west coast of Vancouver Island, home to the Nootka First Nation. I was intrigued by the garlic of the same name in the Filaree Farm catalog and wanted to grow some for friends who live in the NW. This is an heirloom Silverskin originally supplied by Steve Bensel on Waldron Island.

If you are careful in the timing of the harvest and remove the bulbs carefully from the soil with the outermost wrapper intact, it will reveal the blush of rose. Like other Silverskins, it is a good braider.

Brown Tempest

This is a Glazed Purple Stripe that we have grown since 2003. The bulbs differ from the Purple Stripes due to their royal purple color tinged with subtle shiny gold and/or silver hues.

A Pennsylvania grower has speculated that the depth of color in any of the Purple Stripes is proportional to the amount of permanganate in the soil.

Varieties adapt to particular soils and climates over a period of years to the point where they are distinctive enough to be given their own name. This has led to the hundreds of colorful names for similar strains which is evident in the catalogues and garlic fests.

 

Asbury Village Farm is a proud member of the Garlic Seed Foundation. Read more about their work on their web site or visit them at some of the Garlic Festivals listed there.

April 23, 2015

Care to comment? curt.rowell@gmail.com I am also accepting bookings for 'Ancient Memories', an illustrated presentation on the cultural history and propagation of garlic.